In a written statement, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu said that the Touristic East Express will be operated by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and TCDD Taşımacılık A.Ş. He reminded that it was implemented in cooperation with the aim of contributing to tourism, and the first expedition was made on May 29, 2019.
Reminding that the flights have been suspended since the middle of March 2020 due to the pandemic, Karaismailoğlu said, “The first Touristic Eastern Express between Ankara-Kars will depart from Ankara on Wednesday, December 15, and from Kars on Friday, December 17. Trains from Ankara Wednesday, Friday; It will depart from Kars on Friday and Sunday. Two trains a week will be operated mutually,” he said.
Karaismailoğlu said, “The number of flights and wagons of the Touristic Eastern Express, which will depart from Ankara at 15.55 and from Kars at 22.20, are determined in line with passenger demand,” and noted that the train consists of only sleeping and dining wagons.
Pointing out that 37 thousand passengers have traveled on the Touristic Eastern Express since its first voyage, Karaismailoğlu stated that the Ankara-Kars route was chosen as one of the top 4 train routes in the world by travel writers.
PASSENGERS BOTH TASTE DIFFERENT TASTE AND SEE HISTORICAL VALUES
Expressing that the 300-kilometer Ankara-Kars track was completed in 31 hours and 40 minutes and the Kars-Ankara track in 32 hours and 37 minutes, Transport Minister Karaismailoğlu continued as follows:
“Passengers have the opportunity to see historical and cultural values while tasting different flavors. Touristic Eastern Express offers opportunities to explore not only Kars but also Sivas, Erzurum and Erzincan on its route. Touristic East Express, between Ankara and Kars; In İliç and Erzurum, between Kars and Ankara; It stops in Erzincan, Divriği and Sivas for 3 hours each, allowing group and individual passengers to visit touristic places. The train, which stops at the said stations, takes its passengers to explore the natural and cultural heritage, including the Dark Canyon, Üç Kümbetler, Double Minaret Madrasa, Ani Archaeological Site, Divriği Ulu Mosque, and Gök Madrasa. Travel lovers have the opportunity to witness the gastronomic richness as well as the historical richness.”